Naomi Osaka confirms she will ditch US citizenship so she can represent Japan at Olympics

Naomi Osaka defiant PA

Naomi Osaka will relinquish her US citizenship so she can represent Japan in the Tokyo Olympics next summer, she has confirmed.

Osaka was born in Japan to a Japanese mother, while her father is Haitian, but the family moved to the United States when she was little more than a baby.

However, Osaka turns 22 next week – the age at which, under Japanese law, citizens with dual nationality must make a choice either way about their continued eligibility for citizenship.

“It is a special feeling to aim for the Olympics as a representative of Japan,” Osaka told NHK.

“I think that playing with the pride of the country will make me feel more emotional.

“I’m kind of looking forward to everything like the opening ceremony,” she added. “It’s also a very big honour to even be participating.”

The news comes as no surprise given Osaka already represents Japan on the WTA Tour and in the Fed Cup, and it has been the plan for a long time according to her mother.

“We made the decision that Naomi would represent Japan at an early age,” Tamaki Osaka said in an interview last year.

“She was born in Osaka and was brought up in a household of Japanese and Haitian culture. Quite simply, Naomi and her sister Mari have always felt Japanese, so that was our only rationale.

“It was never a financially motivated decision nor were we ever swayed either way by any national federation.”

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